I. What You Should Know About Home Care in West Des Moines, IA

West Des Moines regularly tops lists of the best places to live in the state by combining a relaxed suburban atmosphere with urban amenities right around the corner. The city has a population that’s about 13.9% retirees and a violent crime rate that’s well below average, making it a safe city for seniors to enjoy their golden years. The low cost of living, approximately 11.1% below the national average, also helps keep life in West Des Moines affordable for residents of any age.

There are many options for home health care in West Des Moines, along with award-winning hospitals. The city is known for its excellent health outcomes at local hospitals, such as UnityPoint Health and MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. With four other hospitals located nearby, including one that serves veterans, and more than 300 pharmacies, you have convenient access to health care providers when needed.

Excellent schools, vibrant nightlife and a diverse community help to make West Des Moines a top choice for young professionals and retiring seniors, including those who require in-home care. Dozens of golf courses, plenty of shopping and a long list of other attractions make keeping busy a breeze.

II. What You Should Expect to Pay for Home Care in West Des Moines, IA

According to the Genworth 2021 Cost of Care Survey, both homemaker and home health care services average $5,815 per month for residents throughout all of Des Moines. Those who need some medical services along with help around the house can receive both types of care at a rate that’s comparable to the state median.

Genworth’s survey doesn’t provide information specific to West Des Moines, but it does include the greater Des Moines metro area, so rates for home care are based on those results. Home health care prices are based on the cost of 44 hours of weekly care at an hourly rate of approximately $30.50 per hour, which is near the standard rate for cities throughout Iowa.

The Cost of Home Care & Home Health Care in Nearby Cities

West Des Moines seniors pay an average of $5,815 per month for either home care or home health care services, making it the most expensive region in the state. Iowa residents statewide only pay an average of $5,529 for home care and $5,577 for home health care. Iowa City, one of the most affordable cities in the state, has average costs of just $4,767 for both, approximately $1,050 less than in West Des Moines. In Cedar Rapids and Ames, costs are more comparable at $5,529 and $5,625 for both types of service.

The Cost of Home Care Compared to Other Senior Living Options

At $5,815 per month for home care or home health care, this is one of the more expensive long-term care options in West Des Moines. Assisted living averages just $4,803 per month and includes housing, meals and help with daily activities although health care services are typically not included. Adult day care is an affordable option at only $1,517 per month. It’s suitable for seniors who may not live alone and only need care during set hours. While nursing home care averages $7,148 per month, seniors who don’t need 24-hour health care can save approximately $1,325 per month by receiving in-home care instead.

Note: Data for West Des Moines was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, Des Moines, was used instead.

III. How to Find Home Care in West Des Moines, IA

Finding a home care provider for yourself or a loved one can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we explain the process of how to find a home care provider in 5 simple steps. Use the infographic below to help guide your search for in-home care in West Des Moines, IA.

An infographic giving steps to finding a home care provider

IV. Home Care Resources for Seniors in West Des Moines, IA

Aging Resources of Central Iowa

What You Should Know

Aging Resources of Central Iowa is a nonprofit organization and an Area Agency on Aging designed to put seniors and their caregivers in touch with a variety of local programs that may be helpful when aging in place. Options counseling is available to walk seniors and their loved ones through public programs that may help with financial assistance, in-home care, transportation and other services that can extend your stay at home. Information & Assistance Specialists at Aging Resources of Central Iowa can answer any questions that you might have about available services and provide direct contact information so that you don’t have to play phone tag or call multiple helplines before getting answers. This program is designed to put all the answers in one convenient location with face-to-face, phone and online assistance available.

Who Is Eligible?

This informational program is available to all seniors aged 60+ and people with disabilities aged 18+ in West Des Moines and throughout Central Iowa.

How to Get Started

To get help, call (515) 255-1310 or (800) 747-5352. You can also email your questions to [email protected].

Metro Home Improvement Program

What You Should Know

The Metro Home Improvement Program was formed as an expansion to the WestHELP program. It’s a collaborative effort between eight cities to keep affordable housing available. Ankeny, Altoona, Bondurant, Grimes, Polk City, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights are the participating cities. Assistance is available to make housing repairs and correct code violations. If you successfully apply, you’ll receive a forgivable five-year loan.

Who Is Eligible?

These loans are available to those who have an income that’s less than 80% of the area median and who live in a single-family home, excluding mobile homes, duplexes, rental units, etc. It must be your primary residence to qualify.

How to Get Started

You can download an application and send the completed form with any required documentation to: Metro Home Improvement Program, P.O. Box 65320, West Des Moines, IA 50265. You can also click here to email your completed application.

Iowa Legal Aid

What You Should Know

Iowa Legal Aid offers seniors assistance with topics that include guardianship, financial matters, health and long-term care. Staff can help with wills, estate planning, public benefits and more. Legal hotlines are available to seniors to answer questions and provide a path to legal counsel. Seniors can call at any time Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. to discuss their questions. Interpreter services are available for seniors who may speak English as a second language.

Who Is Eligible?

The Legal Hotline for Older Iowans is available to all seniors aged 60+, and help is provided on an as-needed and as-available basis. Legal Aid in Des Moines has limited resources and may refer out for emergencies.

How to Get Started

To apply, fill out an online application, visit a location near you, or call the legal helpline at (800) 992-8161.

Meals on Wheels – Polk County

What You Should Know

To assist seniors who may struggle with meal preparation, the Meals on Wheels program delivers a lunchtime meal every weekday with the option of receiving frozen meals for the weekend each Friday. This program is aimed at low-mobility or low-income seniors and may have a nominal fee associated with the service. The Department of Community, Family and Youth Services administers the program in West Des Moines.

Who Is Eligible?

Eligibility determinations are based on your ability to cook or otherwise prepare meals at home. Staff evaluate any mobility restrictions you might have in addition to possible income considerations.

How to Get Started

To apply, you must call (515) 286-3484 and complete a telephone assessment. An in-home assessment is also required before you can start receiving services.

Energy Assistance and Weatherization

What You Should Know

The city of West Des Moines operates two programs that can provide financial assistance to seniors for energy bills and home improvements that are designed to lower their annual heating and cooling costs. These programs are offered as part of the federal LIHEAP initiative that’s aimed at low-income households. It offers direct help paying energy bills that may be in arrears or a portion of their annual heating and cooling energy costs. The program isn’t designed to cover all utility costs, and payments are made directly to the utility company. It also offers weatherization assistance, including insulation, sealing cracks or holes, cleaning and tuning your furnace and performing an energy audit to determine how to best reduce your energy costs.

Who Is Eligible?

Families that have a gross income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level may be eligible for assistance. Funds are often provided on an as-available basis and may not be available for all program components.

How to Get Started

To apply, have copies of the Social Security cards for anyone living in the home, your latest utility bill and proof of income. Call  (515) 518-4770 to schedule an appointment.